5 Surprising Tote Bag Essentials You Should Be Carrying

I know there are a few people left in the world who have yet to jump on the tote bag train, and my question is

October 3, 2022

I know there are a few people left in the world who have yet to jump on the tote bag train, and my question is…what are you waiting for?

There are no less than one million reasons tote bags are amazing, and if you missed our recent post with reasons to ditch your purse and carry a tote, you can read it here. The truth is canvas totes are ridiculously durable and allow you to carry everything you need in one beautiful bag.

Still not convinced? Here are just a few of the must-have items you should be carrying in your tote bag.

5 surprising tote bag essentials you should be carrying
  1. Bag Essentials – Cell Phone, Wallet, and Keys

If you’re going to use your tote bag in lieu of a purse, you’ll want to have your most essential items in the bag and ready for your next outing—namely, your phone, wallet or pocketbook, and car keys. Tote bags are admittedly roomy inside, so I usually look for a tote with an interior pocket near the top where I can store these three essentials, keeping them easily accessible.

  1. Notebook & Pen

I started carrying a notebook and pen years ago and I can’t tell you how many times this has come in handy. Whether you need to jot down a book recommendation from a friend or find yourself in the doctor’s office needing to write down a medical protocol, having pen and paper at the ready is super convenient.

And, before you say anything…yes, I know that most cell phones include a note-taking app, but I happen to find the practice of writing by hand gratifying…and I never have to worry about my pen and paper running out of battery.

  1. Water & Snacks

I’m not sure if my inner spirit is a toddler or 100, but I have reached a point where I like to keep water and snacks on hand at all times.

It never fails that I am out and about running errands and find myself dying of thirst. Keeping an insulated water bottle in my tote is much more convenient than making an extra stop to pick up something to drink. And the same goes for snacks—a little bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit is all I need to tide me over and prevent a case of the hangries.

  1. Headphones or Earbuds

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve found myself enduring an unusually long wait—usually at the doctor’s office—and wishing I had a pair of earbuds or headphones with me so I could entertain myself by watching videos or listening to music.

I’ve now started keeping a small, zippered case with ear buds in the bottom of my tote in case of emergencies.

  1. Zipper Pouch

Finally, I keep a small-to-medium zippered pouch in my tote to wrangle all my smaller necessities—things like tissues, lip balm, lotion, and hand sanitizer. Anything small enough to get lost in the depths of the tote goes in the pouch.

Think of your tote bag as a more durable and eco-friendly version of your shoulder bag. With a few, minor modifications, we think you’ll find yourself reaching for your tote over other, pricier purses with increasing regularity.

Written By: Sonia Irani
Director of Marketing | Cooper Industries Canvas PVT Ltd.


Sonia is an experienced marketer who has been working for companies big and small for over a decade. It was not until recently that her sister and inherited a global canvas exporting business from their father that she realised her passion for all things canvas.

She is now on a mission to make the world as eco-friendly as possible – one canvas tote at a time!

Known for her skills and integrity coupled with a positive outlook, Sonia runs Cooper Industries with passion to ensure the Cooper Legacy lives on.